Poetry Blog by keith jeffries (May 2017)

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Politicians

Politicians

 

Are they patriots or philanthropists

given to good works and the welfare of mankind?

Do they seek to change for the better

or is there some hidden agenda?

Politicians are a breed set apart

out for themselves from the very start

They preen themselves to receive acclaim

and fast enough to submit an expense claim

They become quite detached from us all

be...

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Behind a Closed Door

Behind a Closed Door

 

It took four hours in the air

then a further one by train

before I reached my destination

He was there, we had never met before

a replica image of the photo I bore

His smile was broad and warm

we embraced with a degree of awkwardness

It took a brief drive to complete the journey.

Then came a blur of heated passion spent

hours of relentless lo...

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Italy

Italy

 

With accumulated disdain for his own

he looked despairingly and said

¨What are we known for - our language and opera 

his voice filled with disparaging sadness

Silence invaded our confined space

how to respond to such harsh words

Suddenly anger flared within me

words spoken with stern reproval

Opera and language - yes

but who on this planet can with you com...

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Those Halcyon Days

Those Halcyon Days

 

Those days of youthful vigour

that indomitable spirit

a strength inviolate

brimming with optimsim and passion

nothing to stand in one´s way

Each day a seductive adventure

limitless opportunities to seize

The sun always shone high above

life was at its summit of conquest

We flew along in utter delight

little to care for or impede

all came ...

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A Wartime Journey

A Wartime Journey

 

With no warning the train drew to a halt

only a few miles outside of Birmingham

It was dark with the blinds drawn

the compartment was dimly lit

The guard came along the corridor 

¨An Air Raid, Ladies and Gentlemen

please don´t tamper with the blinds ¨

It was late, fast approaching midnight

we sat in subdued and expectant silence

In the distance ...

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Air Raid

Air Raid

 

Judy always whimpered ten minutes beforehand

her astute hearing and senses alert

She had grown accustomed to distant sounds

a routine filled with fear and foreboding

Always at the top of the stairs.

The sirens wailed across the town

the family hurriedly made their way downstairs

Judy in the lead barking loudly

inside the shelter she remained by the door

...

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Gallipoli

Gallipoli

 

Ships sailed slowly through the Straits

a battle raged in fury on the land

Men retreated into the sea

Regiments were routed and scattered

On the deck of a Merchantman

stood my Grandfather in uniform

In the uproar of battle a voice cried out ¨Bill¨

there wrestling and grappling in the mud

he saw a man from his home town

He knew the man well, very well in...

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Air Gunner

Air Gunner

 

On into the night four engines did drone

with a crew all chilled to the bone

Other planes alongside flew in formation

each man´s heart so filled with anticipation

 

From the perspex turret a gunner did stare

he sat secluded in his own little chair

The intercom cracked and then did the flak

would there be a chance of getting back

 

Searchlights probe...

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The Heat of the Night

The Heat of the Night

 

Dark with a stagnant sultry air

not a whisper of a breeze to stir

Distant sounds somehow subdued

fans whirring round in futile labour

even the crickets gasp for air

the geckos inert to conserve their energy

Mosquito nets obscure the room

sheets damp through constant perspiration

A dimmed bedside lamp attracts besottted moths

a glass of water...

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The Madding Crowd

The Madding Crowd

 

Sheep need a shepherd or they get lost

with a shepherd they are easily led

Most of humanity fall into this category

Easily conformed and happily led

with no discernment or thought given

they follow their leader or some creed

blindly and obediently and easily conformed

These form the pathetic majority of humanity

directly or indirectly they are the ...

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The Demobbed

The Demobbed

 

They wanted only normality

because they had earned it

Years of absence and bitter conflict

they had survived the odds

In demob suits they came

different to when they went

in many ways not the same

A settled life was their only want

a home and family to feed

a job, a bike and a garden shed

Visits to the local pub

and heaven sent sleep from above

...

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Imagination

Imagination

 

It sits as part of who we are

an essential aspect of being

A creative force of doubtful origins

spontaneous in full expression

Often pondered upon at length

the fruits of which can astonish

captivate the mind and ambition

Forms, shapes and shadows play

sounds, music and words from where?

Thoughts mushroom into a theatre

to entrance, to tantalise an...

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Waves

Waves

 

Evidence that creation is not dormant

they are an increasing reminder

of a sweeping movement

in and out, high and low

They are the auspices of the moon

lunar power in constant motion

a rhythm of exorcism

as they cleanse the sand

nature´s absorbent door step

At times they lap gently and quietly

in storms they crash against the immovable shore

with a cr...

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All in All

All in All

 

He knows, owns and sees all

having created this terrestial ball

There is nothing which takes place

that is hidden from his face

If this is to be fully believed

then he cannot be deceived

Therefore, we can cheat each other

but nothing from his gaze smother

He is master of all he surveys

and watches all our many ways

To what purpose is this power

f...

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Turn the other cheek

Turn the other cheek

 

A violent assault at the heart of our nation

which involves children is beyond our comprehension

Evil is at large and amongst us a violation

how should we respond to such a situation?

 

To strike back and to counter attack

in reality only creates a set back

And does any real intelligence lack 

we need to adopt a very different tack

 

Destr...

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An Idyll

An Idyll

 

It was an English summer´s day

with my friends we were at play

Behind the parish church there was a field

with grass waist high about to become the farmer´s yield

We frolicked, shouted and fell about

school was closed and we were out

The field sloped down to a hidden dell

where we had made our secret den

The trees surrounded a muddy pond

from which grew ...

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Fruition

Fruition

 

Age ripens what is in full growth

it is the point of fruition for both

A seasoned appearance is brought forth

like the bright star from the north

 

Perfection is finally accomplished

as natrue´s work is completely finished

It is presentable for all to admire

before the time comes for it to expire

 

A moment, a day, at the most two

radiant in full b...

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Life´s Span

Life´s Span

 

Childhood is a growing stage

until we reach a certain age

Then we enter adolescence

and feel shy about our very presence

Soon arrives the fullness of maturity

which banishes any vestiges of purity

Later on along life´s lane

we sometimes end up lame

But the end does finally come

when we are all said and done

This experience takes many years

from ...

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Soggy goings on...

Soggy goings on...

 

A heavy toxic mist rises from the swamp of Swonshon

a quagmire of disgusting green weeds

which coagulate in the fetid waters of their existence

The Swamp is vast and vile and wide

 

It ferments its filthy odour on the planet Soda

around its encrusted shores creatures vie for their sustenance

Above fly swarms of Swerdles

with jagged wings and bodie...

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The Mellow Years

The Mellow Years

 

I walk with experience, perspicacity and wisdom

I am no longer a young immature man

Before me now I see the pitfalls

I discern deceit and duplicity from afar

No longer do I act in haste

but ponder and wonder much more

Occasionally I am still taken in

led down a blind alley which goes nowhere

I tread carefully amongst wolves

whilst I try to care f...

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Sunday

Sunday

 

Sunday morning when tranquility is restored

even if it only lasts until lunch time

A few hours for the world to catch its breath

to allow a breeze of peace to prevail

Seldom do many find their way to church

as the secular world holds its sway

But nothing so far has robbed Sunday

of being a Special Day

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Self Destruction

Self Destruction

 

Every calamity that came my way

was an avalanche or a tidal wave

too much to bear I retreated elsewhere

My strength could no longer withstand

I felt under constant demand

to be someone who I was not

I finally surrendered to a bottle

and did oblivion seek to escape

This developed alarmingly so

as I realised there was no where else to go

Depress...

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A Train Journey

A Train Journey

 

I relaxed into my seat

homeward bound to dinner and bed

The train shuddered forward

gaining speed into the advancing night

Day was spent and night was present

the carriage window reflected all within

Without we saw an array of scenes

the backs of houses some dimly lit

with families at table or in a kitchen

Trees silhouetted against the sky

with...

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The Tobacconist

The Tobacconist

 

I stride with adopted arrogance through the door

an almost brazen entry across a varnished floor

Signs abound, Smoking can Kill

with a smiling cashier standing behind the till

I glance about as a potential buyer

and do the fragrance of tobacco savour

Other customers seem to hide their shame

and refer to the tobacconist by another name

I peer at a vas...

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First Day at School

First Day at School

 

Four years old, timid and shy

I entered the playground for the very first time

My mother bade me a tearful farewell 

as I stood awkwardly with tears beginning to well

Other children who were much older

were already at play as to begin their day

Two boys I saw were wearing clogs

they were scruffy and wore no socks

At speed they ran and then violen...

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The Ultimate Love

The Ultimate Love

 

A compass that points to love

directs the heart and mind

To a source rich and from above

which at times is hard to find

 

The compass bearing is always the same

taking us along a familiar way

It is a strange route along a simple lane

from which we frequently stray

 

A way often tortuous and long

with many a tear shed

Yet as we approach ...

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Stress

Stress

 

Stress, the disease of stealth

borne out of our driven age

Where we strive beyond our strength

only to succumb and then relinquish

Strong or weak stress seeks its prey

it affects almost every aspect of each day

It lies, often dormant before it strikes

then brought low, ill or in despair

We struggle to function as before

There is no immunisation or remedy o...

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The Poet Philosopher

The Poet Philosopher

 

The poet observes the world about him

without pre judgement he takes all in

He stops to pay attention to beauty

and regards it in all its purity

 

He views tragedy and sadness with compassion

and is forever ready to learn a new lesson

He gazes to the heavens and beyond

to search for that eternal bond

 

He frowns with dismay the destruction...

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Hidden from View

Hidden from View

 

I am within myself concealed

only to a chosen few am I revealed

You cannot see behind my skin and bone

because that is where I dwell alone

 

The outward facade is what you see

but be assured this is not the real me

A black beard and a bald head

leaves an awful lot unsaid

 

I carry myself with a certain air

which does not mean that I don´t c...

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A Circle of Friends

A Circle of Friends

 

They do not number many

but are worth every penny

on the exchange rate

they seldom do fluctuate

 

Each is a complete individual

our friendships are very personal

We have so much in common to share

and generally with little time to spare

 

We endlessly write, send cards and messages

and when together enjoy a few beverages

These are sol...

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Lost but Held

Lost but Held

 

Her grief was too much to contain

too unbearable to accept

She dropped the brown envelope to the floor

held fast to the arm of a chair

What she had most dreaded

had come to pass in a few typed words

Loss, regret, courage - Killed in Action

Their Majesty´s condolences

A bomber in the night sky over Kiel

her son who had seldom known fear

A mother i...

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Old Father Tom

Old Father Tom

 

One of nature´s gentlemen

embued with nobility and humility

a rare combination

A priest of sincerity, integrity and prayer

a rich composition

You made your way to the Julian Shrine

and there, whilst in prayer you passed on

they found you there

gently resting your head on a pew end

whilst communing with your Lord

He had taken you to himself

in...

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She sailed in...

She sailed in...

 

She sailed into view

almost appeared in a way

an arrival expected but

a sight for sore eyes

A blue sky mirrored

an ocean of azure

Seagulls circled the vessel

with a chorus of cries

She was dignified

not some cruise ship

with cabins piled high

but an old styled Ocean Liner

with dignity and grace

From her funnels she sounded her sirens

...

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Turmoil

Turmoil

 

Where is this long winding road leading me

with treacherous bends, ravines and dense forests

views unparalleled, but to where am I headed?

Like some floundering vessel unable to keep on an even keel

a compass haywire, no north or south in sight

Sometimes I am constant and steady

the pantry is full and stability reigns

Then everything is thrown into confusion an...

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Berlin

Berlin

 

Onward into the heart of the city, the capital

a landscape dark with a sinister eeriness

where the hastily erected new, had replaced the bombed

where pockmarked facades

bore witness to bloody ferocious conflict

Along cobbled streets where some buildings remained

to dark shadowy figures moving silently

a place shrouded in guilt and shame

the doomed silence of ...

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The Tango

The Tango

 

Blue smoke swirled about the dance floor

as couples moved with dramatic ease

a dance of arrogance with serious intent

An orchestra played to a staccato beat

in a sultry moonlit night

Determined steps paved their way

to left and right, sudden turns askance

a combined spirit of music and dance boldly linked

There seemd to be no background or foreground

no...

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Your Book

Your Book

 

The story is unique as are all the others

from a first chapter of pristine quality

there unravels a personal narrative

 abundant with love and sorrow

time filled memories long since past

People who came and went

to be replaced and re enacted

in endless realms of time and space

Moments of self doubt and despair

then to leap upwards into the air

Dark t...

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Reaching Out

Reaching Out

 

I keep reaching out

for what may not even be there

But I continue to reach in faith and hope

of touching and knowing

It could all be in vein

I hope not as I cannot stop

I reach for that which I cannot see

but should I touch

then I´ll know that it is for me

Time passes yet still I reach 

for what could be a soul mate

a lover maybe to meet

but...

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Nan

Nan

 

You once told me when I was a boy

that when you should die

you would like all your grandchildren

to be at your bedside

Family prejudices and petty quarrels

denied you this and alone you died

Not even was I there to comfort you

In life you gave everything you could

even a son at Dunkirk

At least by God´s good grace

you are now at rest with him

who gave h...

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Hither and Thither

Hither and Thither

 

Animals live by instinct

Have I become the same?

Do I react and respond

as a spider´s web in a breeze?

Am I incapable of coherent thought

but a play thing of no discernible purpose?

Winds blow and piles of dried leaves mount

Am I a leaf cast about by

a capricious whisper of air?

Do I even care to think?

the consequences are not mine

Is sp...

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The Bike Sheds

The Bike Sheds

 

An innocently metal framed construction

hardly worthy of any mention

The custodians of numerous bikes

yet known for more dubious likes

 

Behind the Bike Sheds, out of sight

is not a place to go to read and write

It became known as a place for all who dare

for all manner of goings on do occur there

 

To those seen furtively going behind this scre...

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School Sports Day

School Sports Day

 

School Sports Day was a major event

for which there was a very large tent

In fact Mrs Smith said it was a Marquee

behind which was a place for us to pee

 

The day took place in a local park

and each running lane had been given its mark

Mrs Burrows was in charge of First Aid

behind a trestle table appropriately laid

 

Several races were due to...

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Step outside

Step outside

 

The world we create for ourselves

is often small, narrow and confined

We need to branch out and go further afield

to explore, to taste, to leave our place

The landscape is rich and varied

it can be a challenge to embrace

From our comfort zone we can fly

as far as the sky or eye can see

Distant sounds and strange tongues beckon

New cuisines and cultur...

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If only....

If only....

 

I have not met you nor heard your voice

between us there lies so much space

Fear tingles in the sinews of my being

a longing has turned into a yearning

I am wholly consumed by who you are

and who you may be, alone or not free

There will be no fulfilment of this fantasy

but whilst it lasted I tasted of love

bitter and beautiful for only to regret

that ...

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Seek and you will find

Seek and you will find

 

Seek and you will find we are told of old

throw aside inertia, prognostication and be bold

Take the initiative and search for what you need

and with it you will have God´s speed

 

Care not for what stands in the way

or what the voices of discouragement say

Plan and prepare for what must be done

and sally forth into the rising sun

 

Whate...

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Best of Friends

Best of Friends

 

From different places of departure

we met on the same road of life

probably because we were so alike

Our backgrounds could not have been more different

but from our wanderings a bond was formed

a deep abiding friendship built on a sure foundation

of mutual love and trust

Confidences were respected, humour often ribald

We were spiritually atuned and r...

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A Darkened Sanctuary

A Darkened Sanctuary

 

I was gently walking barefoot on a stone slabbed floor

my feet neither cold nor unwelcomed

The darkness was profound 

but shadows cleared a path urging me forward

I felt drawn, dressed in a long shapeless robe

Onward to a point where I could discern

two rays of blue tinged light which met

on some distant object

There I could determine a shape

...

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A Transitory World

A Transitory World

 

Participants in a vast unfolding drama

set on a revolving stage of swirling beauty

Tossed and buffeted, often cast aside

In and out of love we glide

to laugh, smile and solemnly lament

To engage in destruction and endless wars

atrocities of unspeakable horror

then to dance to a rhythm of love

to see the fox hunt and the dove to fly

In poverty a...

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Labels

Labels

 

Labels appear not only on clothes

in fact they are everywhere I suppose

They ask you for your religion and you say C of E

That earns you a label for what your supposed to be

They ask your colour or ethnic origin

another label for them to indulge in

They ask you for your sexual orientation

a label for straight, gay or some other complication

They ask you for y...

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A Dimensional World

A Dimensional World

 

For our health in body, mind and spirit

a three dimensional human entity

or could it be that we are are mistaken

that we exist only as creatures of body and mind?

Do I consist only of these two aspects of life?

Is my mortal frame and brain all there is?

If so I am as an animal with instincts and nought else

I eat, drink, walk and talk

I write, ad...

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